Although Zedd is a mastermind when it comes to his electronic dance music, he felt a real connection to the country voice of Maren Morris when he decided to let her in on his collaboration for “The Middle.”
Teaming up with Grey, the two scoured through multiple artists with big vocal creds but couldn’t land upon a sound they thought matched the emotional vibe of the track. The two expanded their pool to Nashville talent and upon first listen, knew that Morris was definitely the one.
“[Grey and I] went through roughly 15 different vocalists – mostly pop and lots of A-listers – but it just didn’t fit. The song is very emotional and real, so it has to be someone who could really carry it. Then, we recorded Maren and she sounded incredible, and everybody who loved this song already fell in love with it even more, so we knew she was the one,” Zedd explained in a People interview.
Not specifically looking for any genre in particular, it just happened to be fate for Morris to land in the creative laps of Zedd and Grey when they made magic in the studio. Even Zedd himself emphasized how important it was for him to find someone with an honest voice, in which Morris delivered right off the bat.
“It had nothing to do with country, to be honest. It’s just a coincidence that she’s in country,” the EDM artist said. “To me, it was just her vocal quality, her ability to sing something and make me believe it. There are words and melody, but they oftentimes don’t connect with the emotion, and she was really able to sing it and make me believe it. That’s what was most important to me. I don’t care about the genre you’re in. If you sing the song and I want to cry, then I know it’s perfect.”
Morris felt the magic too and knew, despite genre ‘lines,’ the song was one she wanted to be a part of.
“It’s just a really incredible, emotional, relatable song. I just made one album [and I’m in the midst of making my second album right now], so this is the beginning for my career and I think it’s amazing that we’ve come together – me from Nashville, him from this whole EDM world,” she shared. “It’s unexpected, but it makes sense. Honestly, I listen to every type of genre anyways and my own music is very all over the place music-wise — it’s not strictly country or strictly pop — so I kind of felt like it was the perfect marriage of genre styles.”
The collaboration landed on streaming services on Tuesday morning (1/23), and even debuted a music video of the song during the 60th GRAMMY Awards broadcast.
“The Middle” by Maren Morris and Co. is out everywhere now.